Oberon will have to wait longer for a fluoride decision

OBERON Council will wait until June or July to make a decision on whether to reverse its official long-standing opposition to fluoride in the town water supply.

A recommendation was tabled at Oberon Council's ordinary meeting on Tuesday night that council provide some direction in relation to the review of the fluoridation policy, but a final decision still remains unclear.

Cr Brenda Lyon moved a motion on Tuesday night not to review council’s standing resolution not to fluoridate Oberon's public water supply, but the motion was lost.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz moved an amended motion, which was carried, that council undertake a review – through the upcoming Community Engagement Strategy public meetings – of council’s policy on fluoride and for the issue to be tabled at the June or July council meeting for a decision.

After substantial community consultation and public meetings held in Oberon in 2013, council resolved not to support the addition of fluoride in the Oberon water supply, but it was a heated debate at the time.

After receiving correspondence from the Oberon Health Council and the Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research in December 2017, council resolved to accept the offer of a face-to-face briefing for council and senior staff, led by qualified people from NSW Health, on the evidence supporting fluoridation.

Further, council agreed that qualified people among the opponents to fluoridation brief council and senior staff on the evidence against the fluoridation of Oberon’s water supply.

These meetings were held in March.

Council’s Community Engagement Strategy draft plan, which had been on public exhibition since council’s March meeting, was adopted on Tuesday night without changes.

Public meetings to inform the community about the draft plan will be held in May and council will take the opportunity at these meetings to hear from the community about fluoridation.

The meetings will be:

  • Monday, May 21 - Robert Hooper Community Centre, Oberon, 6pm.
  • Wednesday, May 23 - O’Connell Fire Shed, 1891 Mutton Falls Road, O’Connell, 6pm.
  • Monday, May 28 - Burraga Sport and Recreation Club, Lloyd Street, Burraga, 6pm.
  • Wednesday, May 30 - Black Springs Community Hall, Dog Rocks Road, Black Springs, 6pm.